A Guide to Staying Safe in Rome
Rome is all about the savoring the sights, the sounds, the people, the culture, the architecture, and of course, the food! But sadly, because of so many tourists, many dangers can strike when you least expect it to sour your trip.
Just recently, our founder was taking a tour near the Piazza with her family and got followed by a (very creepy) guy, which made them run into a gelato store in order to stop him from following them.
In order to prevent situations like this (or worse) from happening, here's a guide to staying safe in Rome!
Beware of Pickpocketing
Beware of pickpockets on public transit and in crowded areas where people are packed in closely.
The greatest risk visitors face in Rome is from pickpockets and thieves. There’s no reason for paranoia, but you need to be aware that the problem exists and to protect your valuables with this in mind.
Pickpockets go where the tourists go, so watch out around the most touristed and crowded areas, such as the Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, St Peter's Sq and Stazione Termini. Note that thieves prey on disoriented travelers at the bus stops around Termini, fresh in from airports. Crowded public transport is another hot spot – the 64 Vatican bus is notorious. If traveling on the metro, try to use the end carriages, which are usually less busy.
A money belt with your essentials (passport, cash, credit cards) is a good idea. However, to avoid delving into it in public, carry a wallet with a day’s cash. Don’t flaunt watches, cameras and other expensive goods. If you’re carrying a bag or camera, wear the strap across your body and away from the road – moped thieves can swipe a bag and be gone in seconds. Be careful when you sit down at a streetside table – never drape your bag over an empty chair by the road or put it where you can’t see it.
Don’t Act Like a Tourist
Reduce your risk of being a victim of a pickpocket by keeping the fact that you’re a tourist under wraps—meaning don’t become distracted when studying maps, taking pictures, or carrying large amounts of cash and personal belongings.
Avoid certain areas at night, or at least use good judgment.
These include parks (which should be closed), the darkened areas around Termini and Piazza Vittorio, and as much as the Tiber has improved, I have noted that it is not a place for nighttime wandering.
Pick secure accommodation
If you're living in Rome, make sure your building has appropriate doors, windows, and shutters. Some recommend living between the 3rd and the 7th floor – high enough that break in from outside are less common but low enough that the fire ladders can reach if there is a fire.
Don’t leave valuables in plain sight
Driving in Rome? Be sure that you take everything with you out of the car. Suitcases piled on backseats and charging iPhones look might tempting and you may come back to smashed windows and 0 stuff.
Got more tips to add? Share it with us in the comments below!